Inspector Brendan Fogarty confirmed yesterday that detectives have made contact with John Forrester’s extended family in the Blackpool and Lincoln areas. But he said gardaí are still liaising with diplomats in the British embassy in Dublin, and with Interpol, to trace “as close a relative as possible”.
Gardaí confirmed last night that a family liaison officer has been appointed.
Mr Forrester, 42, who was known locally as Johnny English, was an unemployed man who led a transient life in Britain before moving to Ireland.
He had been living in the ground-floor flat at the building known locally as O’Callaghan’s flats, overlooking the River Bandon in the town centre, for the past two years.
He was beaten, stabbed in the face and neck, his hands and feet bound with electric cable, and his body wrapped in a rug before it was dumped in the river last weekend. His body was recovered last Tuesday morning about a mile downstream from where he lived.
Gardaí believe he was assaulted in his flat, where blood stains were found, before being dumped in the river.
Officers from the Garda Technical Bureau completed their forensic examination of the flat yesterday.
Several items recovered from the rooms, as well as items recovered from the nearby river bank and from the river bed around Bandon bridge, will undergo detailed forensic tests.
It will be several days before the results of those tests will be furnished to the investigation team.
Detectives have declined to comment on whether they have found any weapons — either the knife or screwdriver used to stab Mr Forrester, or an implement like the leg of a piece of furniture which may have been used to beat him.
They are still trawling through CCTV footage taken from local premises to piece together his final hours.
Meanwhile, murder victim Jonathan Duke, whose badly beaten body was recovered from the water under Bandon bridge in the early hours of last Sunday, will be buried today.
Large crowds are expected to attend the funeral of the 27-year-old father of one at St Patrick’s Church in Bandon at noon.
Two people who have been remanded in custody charged with his murder are due before the court again on Monday.
There were angry scenes outside Bandon courthouse on Tuesday night when a crowd of up to 300 people gathered to watch as the pair were brought before a special court sitting.
Among the protestors was Jamie Lordon, 30, from Bandon. He went to gardaí just over two weeks ago, claiming that he had been assaulted and thrown into the river.
He lodged a formal complaint with the Garda Siochána Ombudsman Commission (GSOC) earlier this week about how the gardaí responded to his complaint.
GSOC investigators have interviewed a number of individuals in recent days in connection with Mr Lordon’s complaint, and the investigation is ongoing.